Brandt, now an analyst for NFL.com, was the vice president for player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys for three decades in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. He has Jeffery No. 6 on his list, which was headed by Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Brandt also has Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick high on his list at No. 9. That's exactly where Kirkpatrick was on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper's first Big Board for the 2012 draft, which tells you the NFL scouts love Kirkpatrick's 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame and his ability to turn and run with some of the fastest receivers out there.
In other words, there are a lot of people who think Kirkpatrick is poised for a breakout season in 2011. He had his moments a year ago, but he also had some costly mental errors. Physically, he's exactly what you're looking for, and my expectation is that Alabama's secondary will be one of the most improved units in the SEC next season. Don't be surprised if senior cornerback DeQuan Menzie is just as productive, if not more so, than Kirkpatrick. Mark Barron is one of the top safeties in the SEC, and fellow safety Robert Lester led the league with eight interceptions last season. Sophomore cornerback Dee Milliner should also be much improved.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson was No. 11 on Brandt's list, and a third Alabama player, linebacker Courtney Upshaw, was No. 18 -- giving the SEC four players in the top 20.
Upshaw is another guy who has All-SEC and possibly All-America status written all over him for the 2011 season.
Here's a look at where the other SEC players stacked up in Brandt's breakdown of the top 100 players. Note that seven of the top 12 SEC players listed by Brandt are from Alabama, which sheds a little light on why so many people are picking the Crimson Tide next season to win the league:
No. 28 -- South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore
No. 33 -- Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower
No. 39 -- Alabama safety Mark Barron
No. 53 -- Arkansas receiver Greg Childs
No. 54 -- South Carolina defensive end Devin Taylor
No. 61 -- Alabama safety Robert Lester
No. 62 -- Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan
No. 65 -- Alabama offensive guard/tackle Barrett Jones
No. 68 -- Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward
No. 69 -- Arkansas linebacker Jerry Franklin
No. 72 -- Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard
No. 74 -- Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin
No. 76 -- Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden
No. 77 -- Georgia offensive tackle Cordy Glenn
No. 81 -- LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne
No. 82 -- Arkansas running back Knile Davis
No. 95 -- Tennessee defensive tackle Malik Jackson
No. 96 -- Kentucky offensive guard Larry Warford
No. 99 -- Georgia punter Drew Butler
No. 100 -- Florida running back Jeff Demps